Hey, Friends! :)
Oh my goodness! What an incredible week this has been! I am truly humbled have been able to serve He who has given me so much. My time serving the Lord as a full-time missionary has been the most incredible experience of my life. I don’t even know where to begin to explain the gratitude I have for what the Lord has shown me and has done for everyone I have come in contact with. God is so good to His children and I have had a front row seat in seeing the change that comes into people’s lives as they accept and live the gospel of Jesus Christ. God truly loves His children. I know that is certain.
This week has been a week of a lot of hard work, a lot of reflecting, and a lot of miracles. First off, let me tell you about my new and final companion, Elder Bennion! He is awesome! Elder Bennion is from Oregon and has been on his mission for about 8 months. He has had a very interesting mission so far! Elder Bennion was called to serve in Instanbul, Turkey. He was there for about 4 or 5 months until all the missionaries were evacuated due to some political issues! Crazy! So Elder Bennion was sent here to NY! WHOOT! He has been an amazing addition to our companionship. Elder Reynolds and Elder Bennion have been great companions!
Another fun fact about Elder Bennion: he is related to some of my favorite members in Midwood, Valerii and Galina! Valerii is a recent convert and his wife, Galina, was already a member. They are from Russia and I love them so much!
Earlier this week I found out something super amazing! Do you remember Gary from Plainview? He was the first person I taught and baptized on my mission. Well, I just found out that he received the Melchizedek Priesthood last week! I am so happy for him!
So, a couple nights ago I was sitting in my bed reflecting on my mission and talking with the Lord about these past 2 years. As I was pondering, we got a phone call from the elders serving over in Rego Park (my 2nd area). Turns out that they ran into someone on the street who claimed that I gave him a Book of Mormon 2 months ago. His name is Sharif. Initially, I didn’t remember. But I looked up his number in my phone a found a conversation I had had with him over text from the last year (when I gave him the Book of Mormon) while I was serving in Rego Park! I was surprised that he remembered me, because we weren’t able to actually teach him. I reached out to him again and it was a really neat experience catching up with how he has liked the Book of Mormon. Sharif is now going to start meeting with the missionaries :) I have no doubt that God Set that one up.
, we were invited by our friend at the Halal food cart to come to his mosque to break Ramadan fast with him. Turned out that his mosque was the one right down the street from our chapel! It was really cool to witness and be apart of another religion in action. After we broke Ramadan fast with them, we ate dinner with the 50 or more Member including the mosque Imam (we got sit at the Imam’s table).
Well, today was my departing temple trip with the Reynolds, I will have my departing interview with President Reynolds, and I will be back in Utah. After 2 years of serving the Lord in 5 different areas of NY and with 16 different companions, I have finally become one of the missionaries whose turn it is to go home. I am sad this time has come, but am also optimistic for the future. I am forever grateful for the experiences I have had serving the Lord here in New York. It has been the greatest 2 years of my life so far and I know that there are more great things to come. Over the past couple years I have come to know my Savior and my Father in Heaven. I know they live and I will testify of it every moment of every day. The Lord truly is my light and my Salvation. Our Heavenly Father sent His only Begotten Son to the earth to live and die and live again just so we may have the opportunity to do the same. Jesus is the Christ; He is the way to eternal happiness and exaltation with our God who loves us with everything that He is. If you give your life to the Lord, He will make you into something greater than you ever could have possibly done on your own.
There is so much more I wish I could say, but I am struggling to find the words for it. I guess overall, my mission has enabled me to know who my God is and I love Him.
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:7
I love you all! I pray for you often.
Don’t keep the faith, spread it!
Pictures (I will send my temple trip photos next week)
2) Muslim Mosque down the street from our chapel
3) Super cool picture on the train
1) My super amazing companions! (Elder Bennion & Elder Reynolds) I love them so much!